His shirtless form was truly something to behold.

Although at six in the morning, when she hasn't had coffee is a different story. Definitely not beholding anything at six in the morning on no caffeine and very little sleep. She can barely form thoughts worthy of coming out of her mouth, much less enjoy what he's presenting to her. He should not look so damn perfect in the morning. But damn it to all hell does he look very much like one of those fine specimens she had seen in a Calvin Klein ad. She unconsciously licked her lips at the very thought. Those models had been wearing very little except for a pair of tight underwear, a sexy grin and a smoldering stare. Oh, what she'd give to see that in the morning; she definitely wouldn't need coffee.

"Chance, it's six in the morning and I haven't had coffee yet." She's exasperated - maybe, it was exhausted - and she isn't quite sure why he's there but she does know that if he doesn't leave soon, she might actually live out her dirty Calvin-Klein-model fantasies on the man before her because he looks that damn good, or kill him, that worked too. "I haven't even had breakfast yet. So please, tell me, why are you here?"

He opens his mouth to respond but finds his throat closing rapidly at the sight of his scantily clad benefactor. The little lace number that barely covered anything was something he didn't even know she owned much less wore. He had come over to berate her about going to South America without him - actually, to berate her for going to South America at all - but the words were now lost somewhere in that space-time continuum thing, as his brain seemed to be lacking blood and oxygen at the moment.

"Ilsa?" His mouth felt very dry and it seemed unusually warm in Ilsa's apartment. "What are you wearing?"

Ilsa looked down at the little lacy nightgown she had put on the night before. Being pulled out of bed at six in the morning by an ex-assassin wasn't in her plans when she put the nightgown on. It had simply been the most comfortable thing she could find. Now though, she was starting to regret that choice. The thing did reveal more skin than she ever intended for him to see, at least this early in the morning when she isn't properly groomed and caffeinated.

"A nightgown, Mister Chance." Ilsa rolled her eyes, "Surely you've seen them before. Now what do you want?"

He squeezed his eyes shut in an effort to muddle through his jumbled thoughts and trace them back to his original intention for barging in on Ilsa after his morning run. South America. Triple Frontier. Miguel Cervantes. Ilsa going alone. There it is. The anger and protectiveness surged through his veins once more. He opened his eyes and looked up at her; "You went to the Triple Frontier alone!"

"That's what you pulled me out of bed for?" Ilsa questioned in disbelief, "To fight over my going to the Triple Frontier alone?"

"Well," Chance's petulance was simmering to the surface. "Yes."

"Mister Chance, last I checked I am a grown woman." Ilsa had to keep from clenching her teeth in unbridled frustration at his petulance and unbelievable protectiveness. "I will do what I like, when I like."

"Even going to the damn Triple Frontier to confront a war-lord?" Chance growled angrily. "Are you insane?"

"No. I wanted to see if I could do anything to help Susan and since you said there was nothing we could do at the time, I took matters into my own hands." Ilsa told him, shrugging her shoulders innocently before turning away. "Excuse me, I don't feel properly dressed for this conversation."

He watched - his petulance not receding in the least - as she disappeared up the stairs and into a room, the door slamming closed behind her. Damn, that nightgown had really accentuated every sexy as hell part of her body. Her legs had seemed miles longer, her skin had appeared flawless and because he was male, he tended to notice well displayed cleavage when it was presented it to him and damn, that lace had done all but reveal every bit of her cleavage to him.

"Mister Chance, did you have any other reason for coming here?" Ilsa asked him, reappearing before his eyes in a thin grey cotton bathrobe. It tied around her waist and went no farther down her legs than that thing she had on under it. "Or was it just to fight about something that's over?"

"You shouldn't have gone to South America alone." Chance berated her, once again having to work through his decidedly more male thoughts and find the strands of thought that went in the direction he needed to take this conversation. "Much less to the Triple Frontier. Miguel Cervantes is a dangerous man. He could have had you killed. While I both hate and admire your bravery, it was pretty stupid."

"Stupid?" Ilsa scoffed incredulously, crossing her arms over her chest. "Stupid? Mister Chance, might I remind you the business you're in?"

"That's not the point!" Chance argued, "And you know it, Ilsa. You don't see me going up against a South American war-lord, do you?"

"No." Ilsa shook her head, her lips thinning into a self-righteous smirk. "As I recall, Mister Chance, you broke your assassin friend free from a Siberian prison and then you went up against a South American war-Lord."

"Well I won't deny that." Chance groused, looking sullen before a light-bulb seemed to go off over his head and his childish, petty attitude returned. "But it was different!"

"Yes, because you and your assassin friend acting like little school-children in a bar and almost killing each other is so much better than what happened to me." Ilsa sneered sarcastically, dropping her hands to her hips. "Sometimes you act like a child, Mister Chance. A petulant child."

Petulant and sexy as hell. His pig-headed tendancies may have contributed to his sex-appeal but only slightly. Sometimes, the overwhelming urge to throttle that petulance out of him was just right there, simmering beneath the surface of that cool, British facade. As a woman, she could appreciate and even understood his sex-appeal and as a businesswoman she could appreciate his intelligence - well, some of it anyway - but as his friend, she hadn't really learned to appreciate that childish part of him that was stubborn and morose.

"Ilsa - "

"Mister Chance," Ilsa interrupted, holding up her hand to stop him. "What's done is done. There is nothing either of us can do to change that. Now as much as I appreciate you rescuing my friend, I would also appreciate you dropping the subject of my Triple Frontier excursion."

"Fine." Chance snarled, although he wasn't sure if he was actually angry or if it was just her choice of night-wear driving him out of his mind. He let his eyes rake over her body one last time before he turned to leave, tossing a half-hearted demand over his shoulder as the door slammed behind him; "And put some damn clothes on!"

Her soft laughter carried up the stairs as she started for the bathroom to shower and start her day. She looked down at the thin lace strap that disappeared into her bathrobe, wondering briefly if perhaps she should keep this particular nightgown close at hand for future occasions. Such as those spur of the moment visits by a certain blue-eyed ex-assassin. She may never understand that man and maybe it was better she didn't. The less she understood about him, the less involved they became in each other's lives. She couldn't get involved in his life, not right now and he didn't seem to want her close anyway. Without second thought, the lace nightgown was tucked underneath a pile of sweaters in a drawer and forgotten about.

Maybe some other time.

I'm about a week late with this one. Well not quite but I did promise it last week but boy have I got a story for you! So before I start this story, you have to understand that aside from having a sleeping schedule that is on the wrong side of wacked-and-cracked, I've also had to break myself from sleeping in my favorite position. I used to sleep on my stomach, with both of my arms above my head, hugging my pillow. Well last Monday I woke up with this horrible pain in my left shoulder. I thought nothing of it, thought I had just slept on it the wrong way and let it go. By Tuesday it was worse. I didn't want to go to the doctor but I wasn't given much choice. My parents took me to an Emergency Care Clinic - my Dad drove home from the job-site he was working at two hours away to do this mind you - and I found out that I sprained it. So with a prescription for some strong-ass Ibuprofen and orders to acquire an ice-pack I came home - after stopping at the store to acquire my prescription and icepack. Wednesday I was fine. In pain and with a slightly muddled mind from the pain meds, but fine none the less. By midnight, I was worse. I was nauseated, my stomach was twisted in knots and I felt incredibly light-headed. Thursday was horrible. So if this makes little sense, I started this while I was still on said pain meds, forgive me and please tell me so I can take it down and fix it. If you like it, well you can tell me that too!

Love ya,


P.S. The icing on the cake? Not only did I have to stop taking the pain meds but I spent most of Saturday bound up in a sling! Oh happy day! Lol! Anyway, that's my week.